Welcome to the Forums!
Sorry to hear about your brother--too young.
Have a look at the little plaque that is riveted onto the outside of the trailer to get an idea of the trailer weight. You have a large trailer, and by the time the 80's rolled around, they were becoming more "modern", that is to say HEAVY.
What are you towing with (oops, I just made this into a towing thread)?
As I recall off the top of my head, the towing laws in TX state you have to have trailer brakes for anything over 4000 lbs (but that might have changed recently).
Regardless, breakaway switches, functioning brakes with controllers, and weight distribution are always a best practice.